Kerala rape case: Nuns who demanded bishop’s arrest asked to comply with transfer orderhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-rape-case-nuns-who-demanded-bishops-arrest-asked-to-comply-with-transfer-order-5542106/

Kerala rape case: Nuns who demanded bishop’s arrest asked to comply with transfer order

The protest by nuns had paved the way for a major movement, Save Our Sisters, which was called off only after the arrest of Mulakkal and his removal as bishop of Jalandhar. Reacting to the letter, Sister Anupama said they would not move out of the mission house in Kottayam.

Kerala rape case: Nuns who demanded bishop’s arrest asked to comply with transfer order
In September, five nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus mission house in Kottayam staged an indefinite sit-in in Kochi, demanding Mulakkal’s arrest. (Express photos by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy)

The Jalandhar-based Missionaries of Jesus has asked four nuns to comply with an earlier transfer order and move out of the congregation’s premises in Kottayam after they staged a protest demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of rape by a nun. The four nuns have been staying at the Kottayam mission.

In September, five nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus mission house in Kottayam staged an indefinite sit-in in Kochi, demanding Mulakkal’s arrest.

The protest had paved the way for a major movement, Save Our Sisters, which was called off only after the arrest of Mulakkal and his removal as bishop of Jalandhar.

Although five nuns had staged the sit-in, four of them have been asked to comply with last year’s transfer order.
Sister Anupama has been asked to return to Chamiyari convent in Punjab, Sister Alphy to Pakartala convent in Bihar, Sister Josephine to Lalmatia in Jharkhand and Sister Ancita to Kannur in Kerala. Their colleague Neena Rose, who also participated in the protest, has not been issued a transfer order.

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The letters separately issued to the four nuns by their superior Regina Kadamthottu on January 10 said it was reminder to them to join convents assigned to them as per the earlier transfer order in March 2018. This is the second such reminder to the nuns after their stand-off with authorities. The letter asked the nuns to “mend their current way of life and activities pursued by them’’.

It said, “Accusations sans truth have been flying thick and fast in the public realm about the lack of concern the MJ congregation has been showing to the nuns who were standing for justice. Even as you and a few others continue to feel no qualms in issuing mala fide public statements and circulate baseless stories tarnishing the image of the Congress, and projecting the Superior general and others as enemies of those who have been fighting for justice, I have been ensuring you that the Congregation continue to support you with food, accommodation and cost of medical treatment.’’

The letter also said the congregation has no intention to interfere in the rape case.

Reacting to the letter, Sister Anupama said they would not move out of the mission house in Kottayam. “It is not a fresh transfer order, but only a reminder to return to the mission’s convents where we had been in the past. We were told to comply with the earlier order issued in March last year in this regard. We all have come to our house in Kottayam to extend support to our sister (the rape victim). We will stay here until she gets justice. We have no plan to move out. What security would we get in the convents allotted to us?,’’ she said.

Besides the five nuns supporting the rape victim, four other nuns who support the congregation’s stand on the allegations, are also staying at the mission house. “We have no links with the other four nuns although we all live under the same roof,’’ said Sister Anupama.